Round-the-world driver Heidi Hetzer dies

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Heidi Hetzer and her 1930 Hudson complete their round-the-world driving back in Berlin in 2017 | Commons.Wikimedia.org photos

Heidi Hetzer, who took over her family’s auto dealership in Germany in 1969 and late in life set off on an around-the-world drive in a 1930 Hudson Greater Eight, died this past weekend at her home in Berlin, Germany. She was 81.

Trip finished back home in Berlin

Hetzer, who lost a finger while repairing an engine, created a worldwide sensation when she did her world tour between 2014 and 2017. The trip was delayed not only by the injury to her finger but by a diagnosis of cancer and ensuing surgery. 

Before her tour, she had driven in a variety of rallies through the decades and had done a drive from Germany to China in 2007. 

On her world tour, Hetzer drove “Hudo,” her name for the Hudson, from Germany to China, went to Australia and New Zealand. From there, she and her car went to Canada and then down through the United States, Mexico and Central and South America. Africa was next and then back to Germany.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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